About the Author: Christine Prokopiak is the co-founder of For the Long Run, Sole Buddies Lifestyle Transformation and is a passionate nutrition and running coach. A true Womxn of Run!
FROM THE FRIDGE AND FRAGILE, TO FIT AND FLOURISHING: IN THIS FOR THE LONG RUN
I am a road runner, triathlete, open water swimmer, entrepreneur, lifestyle transformation, nutrition and marathon coach, #GerhardandChristineLiveLife podcast co-producer, and For The Long Run co-founder. I am also a lover of life, a stepmom, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a best friend, a life partner and a strong woman with a story of personal growth and overcoming adversity.
I had the best childhood a little girl could ask for in KZN. In Gauteng I accelerated a fast-paced corporate career, uncovered my love for running and triathlons, but lost my identity and my self-respect, but have rediscovered what really matters in life, in the beautiful Western Cape.
What makes me happy is helping others unlock and live out their potential and encouraging them to never give up on their dreams, even when times get tough. Inspiring others to live fearlessly, authentically and courageously makes my heart full.
As a result of unmanaged childhood anxiety, a dysfunctional marriage, and the death of my father as a teenager, I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalised anxiety and an associated eating disorder for almost 15 years. I was trapped in a life I knew I didn’t want, I disrespected myself, I enabled an addict, I had turned my back on God, I fuelled co-dependency and lived an inauthentic life, a lie in fact. I lived in fear of the future and was NOT living – I was surviving. What kind of life is that?
When I moved (more like escaped or fled) to Cape Town in 2016, I decided I was done sabotaging myself, my future, my happiness, my peace and my body, so I took the tough decision to rehabilitate myself. I spent 6 months participating in a vigorous treatment process that shattered the reality I had created for myself, but at the same time helped me create a life I had only ever dreamed about. This process blew my world apart – it was extraordinarily traumatic, exhausting and heart-breaking at times, but the end of my old life was the beginning of something magical.
With a renewed sense of self, a healthy body, mind and soul, a renewed relationship with God, an enthusiastic outlook on life and a very clear vision about what I wanted to contribute to the world around me, I took a leap of faith, and pursued my studies as a marathon coach and nutrition specialist. In 2016, I founded Sole Buddies, a lifestyle transformation, sports nutrition and running coaching consultancy. I help people believe in themselves again, inspire them to use lessons learned from hard times to design a happier life, and to support them in using exercise, healthy lifestyle habits and good nutrition to shape their futures. This career change is a decision I have not regretted for a minute – I am finally doing what sets my soul on fire and changing lives on a daily basis – how cool is that?
An inspiring project I became involved in 3 months ago with Werner Koegelenberg and Gerhard le Roux, my partner (in work, love and life, and the heartbeat behind this concept), is For The Long Run.This is a social upliftment initiative that aims to use running as a mechanism to rejuvenate the Fisantekraal community. We want to mentor young adults to realise their full potential by providing them with opportunities to live their best lives, and to teach them how a healthy lifestyle can be used as an instrument for positive change. In just 2 months, we have collected more than 150 pairs of pre-loved running shoes from runners all over South Africa and even from a group of Americans in Dubai! We feel so blessed and grateful for the extraordinary generosity of our networks for what has been contributed already – thank you thank you thank you!
Currently we are mentoring a group of young adults in Fisantekraal between the ages of 14 and 20 years old, and we train with them twice a week. Their raw talent, love for running and their dedication to their journey is mind-blowing! We are SO excited for them and for their goal race, the Sportsmans Warehouse & Helderberg Harriers Winelands 21km in November. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to track their progress!
To get involved as a shoe donator, volunteer, partner or sponsor (cooldrinks, water, physiotherapy, supplements, training gear, nutrition, storage space, branding, transport and race entries), please email me at email@example.com.
Keep showing up, keep shining, be fearless, be flawesome, be brave, be YOU, and remember to always….LIVE LIFE!
Keep up to date with the Long Run and the good they are doing in the lives of so many up-and-coming superstars, and see how you can get involved by following them on the various platforms below: